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How to Find a Graduate Degree in Criminology

written by: Stephanie Mojica•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 4/24/2010

A graduate degree in criminology can help those pursuing careers in law enforcement, journalism, teaching, and research. This article will introduce you to several opportunities from brick-and-mortar colleges offering master's degrees in criminology.

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    California State University, Fresno

    California State University, Fresno offers a program to obtain a graduate degree in criminology where successful students earn a Master's of Science in Criminology. CSU's criminology program first began in 1957.

    In order to complete this program, students must earn 30 credits in coursework and then complete a final project. This requirement can be fulfilled through a master's-level thesis, a special project that may involve incorporating professional experience, or an exit examination.

    Basic Admissions Requirements

    • An accredited bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 (B) GPA, evidenced by official transcripts sent to CSU, Fresno.
    • Completion of the general aptitude section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
    • Three letters of recommendation.
    • A personal essay.
    • A completed CSU, Fresno Graduate School application.
    • Completion of four undergraduate courses in criminal justice, including Criminology, Criminal Justice Organization and Management, Research Methods, and Criminal Legal Process. If an applicant did not complete the course prerequisites during his undergraduate college career, he may be provisionally admitted. However, he will be required to take these courses in addition to the existing M.S. in Criminology requirements.
    • Optional: a personal interview with department faculty and staff.

    Fulfilling the basic admissions requirements does not guarantee a place in the CSU, Fresno M.S. in Criminology program.

    Some prospective students may also wish to investigate the college's Master of Science, Forensic Science program or the Victim Services Certificate program.

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    Florida State University

    Another graduate degree in criminology program option is offered at Florida State University. FSU is located in Tallahassee. In 2007, the Journal of Criminal Justice Education ranked the university's Master's of Science in Criminology program as one of the best in The United States. FSU also offers online master's degrees in criminology, a doctoral program, and dual master's degree programs like criminology and public policy.

    Students seeking a M.S. in Criminology through Florida State University are expected to complete at least 30 credit hours of graduate-level coursework, including 24 credits in criminology. FSU may accept transfer credits from other post grad institutions. Program students must finish all M.S. in Criminology requirements within a 7-year period and maintain a 3.0 GPA. Unless a student receives approval for a coursework-only credential, he must complete a thesis or similar project in order to earn the degree.

    Basic Admissions Requirements

    • A bachelor's degree from an accredited educational institution, proven through official transcripts.
    • A 3.25 GPA in the last two years of undergraduate coursework.
    • A minimum score of 1,000 on the combined verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.
    • Three letters of recommendation.
    • A personal essay.
    • A completed FSU Graduate School application.

    Meeting the basic requirements does not guarantee acceptance to FSU.

    Students may also want to keep in mind that FSU offers numerous funding and work-study opportunities to graduate students, including paid fieldwork or criminology-related job placements, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, grants, and scholarships.

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    References

    • "California State University, Fresno: Department of Criminology." http://www.csufresno.edu/criminology/degrees_programs/masters.shtml
    • "Florida State University: College of Criminology and Criminal Justice." http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/p/academic-deg-masters.php